During the build conference last week, there were quite a few good announcements – most of the cheering was no doubt given to the HoloLens, which is one amazing piece of technology (I personally need one ASAP). But from my professional perspective, on of the most interesting announcements was given late in the conference, and it is centered around Data and Azure.
Microsoft have announced that they will release an new SQL server flavor on Azure, namely the Azure Datawarehouse, what this basically means, is that the need for huge and expensive infrastructure in the basement of each company is now a thing of the past. If the company is willing to trust the security of Azure and letting Microsoft take care of the appliance, the companies is bound to save a really huge amount of money.
In regards to the security issues on letting your data go to the cloud or Azure, I am certain that Microsoft Data centers is miles ahead of all privately held installations in various companies. The service which will go into preview in June, is meant to give companies easy and cheap access to scalable petabyte sized datawarehouse, and also letting the users scale it according to their needs. This makes really good sense, because why should we have that massive server in the basement when we only use it at month-ends and and year-ends. Taking use of the online service one can scale up those few days when really massive computing power is needed, and the scale down during the other days, where the data is only queried through reports and other frontend tools.
At the presentation, T.K Rengarajan, corporate vice president of data in Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division said, and I quote:
“We are creating this concept of elastic database tools that enable the SaaS vendor to aggregate large numbers of databases and be able to have a predictable business on top of this unpredictable sort of workflow.”
Microsoft promises that the service is truly elastic, as the grow and shrinking of the datawarehouse is done in seconds, and not hours as compared to the competitors.
According to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group, the service from Microsoft is years ahead of the direct competitor Amazon’s Redshift data warehouse. Here’s a screen grab of the chart Guthrie showed:
According to Microsoft the pricing model is even more interesting, Microsoft has devised what it calls elastic database throughput units, or eDTUs, that can be pooled together. The metric gives a sense of overall database performance, reflecting computing power, memory, and read and write rates.
Here’s a chart of the exact pricing for the new feature: